How to Negotiate your Salary for a Job Offer or Raise!
It is always stressful to negotiate your salary offer or ask for a raise. You will want to increase your earning potential throughout your career and it is your responsibility to make it happen! So in order to have success, you need to do your homework. Also, don’t forget you can suggest other compensation such as equity, stock options, or additional perks such as extra vacation days.
This negotiation skill is very valuable and can increase your earning potential and help ensure you are fairly compensated for your work. But be prepared and know that it is a skill and takes preparation and practice for successful results.
Calculate Your Value
You need a starting point for exactly how much value you can offer before you begin the process of negotiating a salary. You need to consider the following factors that will influence your compensation.
- Geographic location
- Years of industry experience
- Years of leadership experience
- Education level
- Career level
- Licenses and certifications
Visit Indeed’s Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience. Once you have the factors above you can explain why you are valuable and can justify your desired salary.
Research the Market Average
You can start by searching Indeed Salaries to gather data to help support a successful negotiation. Your market average will give you a good baseline for your salary request and be used for justification.
Here are some questions to consider as you begin your market research:
- What is the national average salary for your position?
- What is the average in your geographic location and in cities nearby?
- How much do similar companies in your area pay employees in this position?
- How have you uniquely added value in the position?
Prepare your talking points
Do your homework and write up notes on your talking points and be as specific as possible. Why do you feel you deserve a higher salary than the one the employer is offering or the pay you’re currently receiving?
Some details to consider:
- Specific quantitative results you’ve achieved, such as goals you’ve met, revenue you’ve helped drive or awards you earned. Use actual numbers to measure your impact—doing so can help justify the cost of a raise.
- Speak to qualitative impact you’ve made, such as cultural contributions, process improvements and soft skills.
- Years of industry experience, particularly if you have more experience than the employer stated as a requirement.
- Skills or certifications, especially if they are in high demand within your industry.
Practice, Practice, and Practice More
When you practice talking points it can help you feel confident and identify areas of improvement. You can do it in front of a mirror or find a friend or family member and try it out without looking at your notes. If you can find someone to be in front of be open to feedback and ready for any questions. Continue to practice until you feel ready for the real deal.
Doing your homework and being ready for the negotiation is important however delivering your negotiation with confidence is as important as the words you say. The employer feel more confident in your negotiation if they can see your confidence. Your salary should reflect the important set of skills and experience you bring to the organization. If you feel the employer’s original offer is below the value that aligns with your skills and experiences, have done market salary research and have personal value data that supports your ask, have confidence in your decision to ask for more.
Ask for More
One fundamental rule of salary negotiation is to give the employer a slightly higher number than your goal. This way, if they negotiate down, you’ll still end up with a salary you feel comfortable with. If you provide a salary range, the employer will likely err on the lower end, so be sure the lowest number you provide is still an amount you feel is fair.
Consider Additional Expenses
Are you accumulating any expense by doing the job? Will you have to move, have a long commute (train fare or gas), or other extra expenses? If so it is not unusual to ask employers to adjust the salary for your expenses.
Don’t give up if your employer or future employer is unable to provide the salary amount you want. You could still ask them to offer other forms of compensation. Are they able to provide more stock options, extra vacation days, ability to work from home, or other perks that might help. Don’t be shy about asking for alternatives. In some cases, they may be just as valuable, or more valuable, than a paycheck.
Don’t be Afraid To Walk Away
In some cases, an employer may not be able to meet your minimum salary requirement or offer additional benefits that make it worth your while. Or the employer may counter-offer with a salary that’s higher than their first offer but not as high as your request. In this case, you’ll need to decide if the job is worth the lesser amount.
If you’re negotiating your current salary in an existing role, your employer may also reject your request. If this is the case, ask for feedback about why the request was rejected and what steps you can take to get a pay increase in the near future. Expressing your career goals—which is closely tied to salary for most people—lets your employer know that you are invested in your growth and that of the company’s. Most will be happy to help you get where you want to be. However, if you notice a long-term pattern of disinterest from your employer in your career development after expressing your desire for advancement many times, it may be helpful to search for other jobs that align better with your goals.
Negotiating your pay is a two-way street, and requires significant effort and investment on both ends. Be sure to thank your employer for their time and thoughtfulness as you discuss your salary request. If you’re searching for a new job, thank them for considering you for the opportunity. Be sure to share any specific reasons why you’re excited about the job, such as the culture or the product. Even if you end up declining the offer, it’s important to do so in a friendly and professional manner. After all, you never know what opportunities they may have available for you in the future.
Here is a Salary Negotiation example from Indeed
Thank you for sending over the job offer package for the Marketing Director position. I want to state again how honored I am to be considered for this exciting position and appreciate you sharing these details.
Before I can accept your offer, I want to address the proposed compensation. As I shared with your recruiting manager, I have more than ten years of experience in digital marketing and have worked in leadership positions for the past six years. In my last role, I increased the number of marketing influenced leads by nearly 40% year over year and helped secure the company a 25% higher annual revenue. Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking a salary in the range of $125,000 to $130,000, which is slightly higher than your offer of $115,000.
I know I can bring a great deal of value to ABC Company and help you exceed your revenue expectations this year. Please let me know when we can discuss the salary further.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Here is a Salary Negotiation example face-to-face or by phone Indeed
“Thank you for sending over the job offer package for the Regional Sales Manager position. I am excited about the opportunity and would like to reiterate how grateful I am you’ve considered me for this role. I believe in your product and know I could help you drive even greater results.
However, before I accept your offer, I want to address the proposed salary.
As I shared during the interview process, I have more than twelve years’ experience in sales, including eight years of experience in medical equipment sales, and I have two more years of management experience than stated in the job description. In my last role, my team exceeded the monthly quota by 15% for two years in a row and landed three of the largest accounts in company history.
Given my experience and expertise, I am seeking a salary in the range of $145,000 to $150,000. However, I am open to discussing alternative compensation, such as opportunities for additional stock options or increased performance-based bonuses.”
Here is a great video from Indeed that covers Pay Negotiation – 7 Steps to Reach Your Earning Potential